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DGP orders crackdown on illegal mining, tax evasion

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Days after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered for a crack down on illegal mining and tax evasion by miners, the Director General of Police (DGP) on Monday ordered for putting ‘an immediate stop to such activity’.

A Punjab Police spokesperson said acting on the directives of the Punjab government led by the CM, the DGP has issued strict instructions to top officials in all districts to put an immediate stop to illegal mining.

He said the DGP Suresh Arora held a video conference on Monday with all senior superintendents of police (SSPs), deputy inspector generals (DIGs), inspector generals of police (IGPs), commissioners of police in this regard and directed the top officials to ensure that there is no laxity in this regard.

The spokesperson said the SSPs were advised to coordinate closely with their respective deputy commissioners (DCs) and also explore the possibility of using District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds for installation of CCTV cameras at the `nakas’ set up for checking illegal mining and associated offences.

The DGP also directed the SSPs to conduct regular meetings with contractors, who have secured the mining contracts legally, to facilitate quick redressal of their grievances. Such contractors should not be unnecessarily harassed and their practical difficulties must be understood, the DGP told the SSPs.

The video conference followed a meeting convened by the DGP with secretary (mining) Kumar Rahul, to formulate a joint strategy to curb illegal mining in the state. The secretary was assured full cooperation and assistance by the police in this regard, said the police spokesperson.

These initiatives come in the wake of the cabinet decision to check all illegal mining activity in the state through all possible measures, in close coordination with the police. Following this, the DGP had earlier issued detailed instructions to all SSPs and CPs, which he further reiterated through Monday’s video conference.

On 5 February, taking a serious view of the problem of illegal mining, CM Amarinder had said offenders would not be spared at any cost. Illegal mining and tax evasion had led to heavy losses for the state exchequer and needed to be checked on priority, the CM had said adding that the state could not afford any more financial losses.

The CM had further warned that no political interference would be tolerated in the matter and instructed officials to initiate the crackdown on priority, without delay.